(Supplied/Department of Defence)
Mandela once said, "History will judge us by the difference we make in the everyday lives of children."
As South Africans celebrate Nelson Mandela's centenary, we see how we can encapsulate his legacy today to better the world around us. He specifically had a warm heart for children, which led to the creation of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund (NMCF), and the need to empower them to ensure our country's future.
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Not only does the next generation need active and artistic spaces to thrive, they also need the opportunity to interact with the past and learn the value of our history. In an effort to nurture this ethos, plans are in place to make history a compulsory subject in schools. But engagement with interactive museums and monuments will help bring that history alive.
The Robben Island Museum (RIM) hosted 100 children from around Western Cape at the Castle of Good Hope from 12 to 14 July, engrossing them in activities and a tour of the one of the oldest buildings in South Africa as part of the national centenary celebrations.
RIM also showcased their mobile replica of Mandela's cell from the island, giving the kids a unique experience to interact with the past, however grim it may be. The replica has travelled throughout the province, and can be requested for any event to help bring history to communities without having to travel all the way to Robben Island.
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The castle also has a special relationship with the island - its walls were built from the stone mined from the island by its prisoners, the quarry that Mandela knew all too well decades later. The famous Khoi translator Krotoa is also buried at the castle, who was once also incarcerated on the island.
Mandela's legacy shows triumph over adversity - an important lesson for the youth to learn.
Earlier that week the NMCF and the Department of Tourism (NDT) also joined hands to lift the voices of the youth with a special youth summit, a forum to discuss their role in society and highlight the importance of culture tourism in the the form of township tourism.
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